Liberia Revenue Authority Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah Wednesday (Nov 20) called on revenue authorities in Africa to adopt relationship-building and effective communication approaches in working with taxpayers to collect revenues.
Commissioner General Nah said while investments in technology and the creation of digital applications are good for revenue collection in the modern era, building mutual relationship with taxpayers is important in stimulating compliance.
The Commissioner-General also stressed the need for behavioral change among tax officers in dealing with taxpayers.
“In Liberia, we are currently building more relationships with taxpayers by deploying our officers into the communities,” the CG told tax administrators and revenue experts meeting in Kampala, Uganda, for the 4th International Conference on Tax in Africa (ICTA).
The event coincides with the 10th founding anniversary of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF).
Nearly 500 participants from 48 countries are attending the conference being held under the theme “Innovation - Digitalization and Harnessing Technology to Improve Tax Systems”.
African tax administrators are focused on discussing and exploring opportunities and strategies on how to tap into the growing digital economies to capture the millions in revenue the continent is losing.
The CG indicated that taxing the digital economy remains a big challenge for Africa.
He said intensive public awareness through effective communication and capacity building in technology will be important in dealing with the challenge. “My view is that we can create all the apps and invest in technology, but how well we communicate and build relationship with our taxpayers need serious consideration, and we must exercise flexibility in making them understand the new processes.”
The conference will climax with tax administrators issuing a communiqué on moving forward with how Africa can tax the digital economy.